Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 29841–29847 | Cite as

Environmental Metabolic Footprinting (EMF) vs. half-life: a new and integrative proxy for the discrimination between control and pesticides exposed sediments in order to further characterise pesticides’ environmental impact

  • Marie-Virginie SalviaEmail author
  • Amani Ben Jrad
  • Delphine Raviglione
  • Yuxiang Zhou
  • Cédric Bertrand
Chemistry, Activity and Impact of Plant Biocontrol products


Pesticides are regularly used for a variety of applications and are disseminated throughout the environment. These substances may have significant negative impacts. To date, the half-life, t1/2, was often used to study the fate of pesticides in environmental matrices (water, soil, sediment). However, this value gives limited information. First, it does not evaluate the formation of by-products, resulting in the need for additional experiments to be performed to evaluate biodegradation and biotransformation products. T1/2 also fails to consider the chemical’s impact on biodiversity. Resilience time, a new and integrative proxy, was recently proposed as an alternative to t1/2, with the potential to evaluate all the post-application effects of the chemical on the environment. The ‘Environmental Metabolic Footprinting’ (EMF) approach, giving an idea of the resilience time, was used to evaluate the impact of botanicals on soil. The goal is to optimise the EMF to study the impact of a microbial insecticide, the Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), on sediment. The difficulty of this work lies in the commercial solution of Bti that is really complex, and this complexity yields chromatograms that are extremely difficult to interpret; t1/2 cannot be used. No methodologies currently exist to monitor the impact of these compounds on the environment. We will test the EMF to determine if it is sensitive enough to tolerate such complex mixtures. A pure chemical insecticide, the α-cypermethrin, will be also studied. The article shows that the EMF is able to distinguish meta-metabolome differences between control and exposed (with Bti) sediments.


Biocontrol product (Bti) Chemical insecticide Environmental impact Sediment Resilience time LC-MS Metabolomics 



The authors gratefully thank our partners from the EID Méditerranée, Christophe Lagneau and Benoit Frances, for supplying the Bti solution and for their valuable help with the water and sediment sampling. They also want to thank Jeanine Almany for her help with the English revision of the paper.

The spectroscopic experiments have been performed using the Biodiversité et Biotechnologies Marines (Bio2Mar, facilities at the University of Perpignan via Domitia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PSL Research University: EPHE-UPVD-CNRS, USR 3278 CRIOBE, Université de PerpignanPerpignan CédexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Excellence “CORAIL”Perpignan CédexFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Chimie des Biomolécules et de l’Environnement—EPHE-UPVD-CNRS, USR 3278 CRIOBEUniversité de PerpignanPerpignan CédexFrance

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